With the growing popularity of the Accenture Innovation Awards, Pieter Paul van Oerle, the Innovation Awards Program Lead, explains that they needed to replace the spreadsheets used to coordinate various aspects of the awards program. While the organization and communication of the event are very professional, the spreadsheets had taken on a life of their own. It took too much effort to reuse the information and there were multiple versions of the truth. Accenture Netherlands wanted to centralize all data and processes, both for itself and its partners.
Built from a demo
The project was not pressing enough for a large IT investment. So van Oerle was pleasantly surprised when a couple of young consultants from his own ranks took the initiative to build an application with Mendix to manage the awards program and wanted to show him a demo. Among them, incidentally, was a former intern of the Innovation Awards. They told him that they had seen how to implement Mendix at one of their customers. For Van Oerle, it was a no-brainer to ask them to complete the application, which they did within a couple of months.
Shareable and easy to use
The application, created with the Mendix platform, has made the awards program team more productive. They use it to collect each contestant’s entry, including descriptions, videos, photos, and other supporting materials, and then assign it a category. The app also includes capabilities for assigning tasks, such as reviewing/approving entries or contacting contestants; sending emails; and keeping track of incoming votes from the connected website. Accenture now has greater visibility into how many participants they have in all the different categories, which makes the whole award process much more structured and efficient.
But, for Van Oerle personally, the business benefits are the best. The team can do its work so much easier, he says. In addition, the application offers an overview of all the innovations and that data is easily shareable. Accenture publishes part of this information on their website, which draws a lot of extra traffic. Companies looking for a start-up want to know who’s best in that field, so the visibility is of enormous economic value for participants. It aligns precisely to what Accenture’s Innovation Awards aims: creating innovative added value for the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has joined the platform as a partner of Accenture’s program, a compliment on its own. Previously, though, making changes to its partner companies’ entries was complicated. With the Mendix application, the company can make the web pages of its partners easily accessible, enabling them to make adjustments to their own profile.
In short, Accenture wanted to give priority to an innovative Dutch provider, its application had to be easy to implement, and it had to deliver added value. They have realized all three with Mendix, which has made this initiative a success.
About the Accenture Innovation Awards
When Accenture wanted to generate more attention in The Netherlands on the importance of innovation, the company – that specializes in management consulting, technology services and outsourcing – started the Innovation Awards. Today several prizes are awarded annually: the Blue Tulips, the Green Tulip, the Audience Award and the Innovator of the Year Award.